ON THE MARK: March 2018     29 Mar 2018    

7’s Update:

The World Series hit Hamilton like a storm and the Tron went off. It is always great to see new cities host the juggernaut that is sevens and with new venues comes new experiences. 

New places have traditionally attracted big sell-out crowds where the atmosphere is special, Hamilton was no different, so congratulations to all involved for hosting such an event.

When I have been involved in a number of these tournaments I get a special buzz when a Kiwi gets the whistle for the final and Hamilton was no different. I was lucky to see Richard Kelly do his first final in Tokyo a few years ago, so to watch his progression to Hamilton it was nothing short of saying “WOW”.

Once again out he goes, cool as a cucumber and referees what is in front of him with the outstanding result of letting players play the game, only intervening when needed.

Richard’s performances have come about through a number of years' of fine tuning, it is no fluke. Richard’s growth has been consistent which now sees him placed as the top sevens referee in the World Series. Time after time he is the go-to man, given the big games and lets no one down.

He has learnt about who he is firstly, as a person and secondly, who he is as a Referee.

Richard has been expertly coached, with a focus on keeping things simple and getting the small things right, which leads to getting the big things right when they occur. 

Planning and preparation are the keys to on-going consistent performances.

Some may say it is only sevens, but the reality is the same approach would work for us all as we climb the Refereeing ranks: planning and preparation equals performance.

It was also pleasing to see James Doleman, in his second year on the Series, take big steps forward and become a regular referee of the bigger games which take place throughout the second day of the tournament. 

James is also very detailed in his planning and the experiences he will gain by travelling around the globe will only enhance his growth. We will watch and applaud him when he reaches the benchmark set by his fellow countryman.


Often these days we receive invitations from all around the World for referee(s) to attend a sevens tournament. It shows NZ refs are sought after.

Recently four of our Referees and a Manager attended the 30th Marist Sevemss in Apia, an annual tournament that attracts teams from all around the Pacific. 

This gives us a chance to select Referees who will enhance the tournament, but also ones who individually gain and learn new skills. 

Tipene Cottrell, Jamie Bell, Nick Hogan, Michael Winter and Pat Rae were treated like kings and had a great time in the heat and humidity.

Coming Up:

As mentioned above, there are opportunities for our Referees in the near future.

Lauren Jenner heads to Hong Kong with five other female referees to officiate at the Women’s qualifying tournament for the World Series, the winner goes onto the World Series for the next season. 

Lauren has the opportunity to show her skills in front of the World Selectors with some positions on the Series up for grabs in the future. 

Lauren is in full-on preparation mode, planning and refereeing 7’s tournaments where she can and we wish her good luck.

Rebecca Mahoney is New Zealand Rugby’s female referee on the World Series and has the Commonwealth Games coming up along with male counterpart Richard Kelly.

Becs is preparing and thinking a lot about the sevens game as she climbs the hills and will polish off her preparation with the Black Ferns Sevens camp prior to the Games.


What this all says is that there are so many options for you all. 

Get in touch with your local REO, phone 0800 REFEREE or 

Who knows you might just be the next NZ Referee travelling the World.